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Chet Baker essay writing help
Born:
23 December 1929
Died:
13 May 1988
Genres:
Jazz, Vocal
Releases:
129
Biography: Chet Baker was a primary exponent of the West Coast school of cool jazz in the early and mid-'50s. As a trumpeter, he had a generally restrained, intimate playing style and he attracted attention beyond jazz for his photogenic looks and singing. But his career was marred by drug addiction. Baker's father, Chesney Henry Baker,Sr., was a guitarist who was forced to turn to other work during the Depression; his mother, Vera (Moser) Baker, worked in a perfumery. The family moved from Oklahoma to Glendale, CA, in 1940. As a child, Baker sang at amateur competitions and in a church choir. Before his adolescence, his father brought home a trombone for him, then replaced it with a trumpet when the larger instrument proved too much for him. He had his first formal training in music at Glendale Junior High School, but would play largely by ear for the rest of his life. In 1946, when he was only 16 years old, he dropped out of high school and his parents signed papers allowing him to enlist in the army; he was sent to Berlin, Germany, where he played in the 298th Army Band. After his discharge in 1948, he enrolled at El Camino College in Los Angeles, where he studied theory and harmony while playing in jazz clubs, but he quit college in the middle of his second year. He re-enlisted in the army in 1950 and became a member of the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco. But he also began sitting in at clubs in the city and he finally obtained a second discharge to become a professional jazz musician. Baker initially played in Vido Musso's band, then with Stan Getz. (The first recording featuring Baker is a performance of "Out of Nowhere" that comes from a tape of a jam session made on March 24, 1952, and was released on the Fresh Sound Records LP Live at the Trade Winds.) His break came quickly, when, in the spring of 1952, he was chosen at an audition to play a series of West Coast dates with Charlie Parker, making his debut with the famed saxophonist at the Tiffany Club in Los Angeles on May 29, 1952. That summer, he began playing in the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, a group featuring only baritone sax, trumpet, bass, and drums -- no piano -- that attracted attention during an engagement at the Haig nightclub and through recordings on the newly formed Pacific Jazz Records (later known as World Pacific Records), beginning with the 10" LP Gerry Mulligan Quartet, which featured Baker's famous rendition of "My Funny Valentine." The Gerry Mulligan Quartet lasted for less than a year, folding when its leader went to jail on a drug charge in June 1953. Baker went solo, forming his own quartet, which initially featured Russ Freeman on piano, Red Mitchell on bass, and Bobby White on drums, and making his first recording as leader for Pacific Jazz on July 24, 1953. Baker was hailed by fans and critics and he won a number of polls in the next few years. In 1954, Pacific Jazz released Chet Baker Sings, an album that increased his popularity but alienated traditional jazz fans; he would continue to sing for the rest of his career. Acknowledging his chiseled good looks, nearby Hollywood came calling and he made his acting debut in the film Hell's Horizon, released in the fall of 1955. But he declined an offer of a studio contract and toured Europe from September 1955 to April 1956. When he returned to the U.S., he formed a quintet that featured saxophonist Phil Urso and pianist Bobby Timmons. Contrary to his reputation for relaxed, laid-back playing, Baker turned to more of a bop style with this group, which recorded the album Chet Baker & Crew for Pacific Jazz in July 1956. Baker toured the U.S. in February 1957 with the Birdland All-Stars and took a group to Europe later that year. He returned to Europe to stay in 1959, settling in Italy, where he acted in the film Urlatori Alla Sbarra. Hollywood, meanwhile, had not entirely given up on him, at least as a source of inspiration, and in 1960, a fictionalized film biography of his life, All the Fine Young Cannibals, appeared with Robert Wagner in the starring role of Chad Bixby. Baker had become addicted to heroin in the 1950s and had been incarcerated briefly on several occasions, but his drug habit only began to interfere with his career significantly in the 1960s. He was arrested in Italy in the summer of 1960 and spent almost a year and a half in jail. He celebrated his release by recording Chet Is Back! for RCA in February 1962. (It has since been reissued as The Italian Sessions and as Somewhere Over the Rainbow.) Later in the year, he was arrested in West Germany and expelled to Switzerland, then France, later moving to England in August 1962 to appear as himself in the film The Stolen Hours, which was released in 1963. He was deported from England to France because of a drug offense in March 1963. He lived in Paris and performed there and in Spain over the next year, but after being arrested again in West Germany, he was deported back to the U.S. He returned to America after five years in Europe on March 3, 1964, and played primarily in New York and Los Angeles during the mid-'60s, having switched temporarily from trumpet to flügelhorn. In the summer of 1966, he suffered a severe beating in San Francisco that was related to his drug addiction. The incident is usually misdated and frequently exaggerated in accounts of his life, often due to his own unreliable testimony. It is said, for example, that all his teeth were knocked out, which is not the case, though one tooth was broken and the general deterioration of his teeth led to his being fitted with dentures in the late '60s, forcing him to retrain his embouchure. The beating was not the cause of the decline in his career during this period, but it is emblematic of that decline. By the end of the '60s, he was recording and performing only infrequently and he stopped playing completely in the early '70s. Regaining some control over his life by taking methadone to control his heroin addiction (though he remained an addict), Baker eventually mounted a comeback that culminated in a prominent New York club engagement in November 1973 and a reunion concert with Gerry Mulligan at Carnegie Hall in November 1974 that was recorded and released by Epic Records. By the mid-'70s, Baker was able to return to Europe and he spent the rest of his life performing there primarily, with occasional trips to Japan and periods back in the U.S., though he had no permanent residence. He attracted the attention of rock musicians, with whom he occasionally performed, for example adding trumpet to Elvis Costello's recording of his anti-Falklands War song "Shipbuilding" in 1983. In 1987, photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber undertook a documentary film about Baker. The following year, Baker died in a fall from a hotel window in Amsterdam after taking heroin and cocaine. Weber's film, Let's Get Lost, premiered in September 1988 to critical acclaim and earned an Academy Award nomination. In 1997, Baker's unfinished autobiography was published under the title As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir and the book was optioned by Miramax for a film adaptation. Baker's drug addiction caused him to lead a disorganized and peripatetic life, his constant need for cash requiring him to accept many ill-advised recording offers, while his undependability prevented him from making long-term commitments to record labels. As a result, his discography is extensive and wildly uneven.
Chet Baker & Crew
Chet Baker & Crew
Tracks: 23
Year: 2018
Late Night Jazz
Late Night Jazz
Tracks: 16
Year: 2018
Chet Baker & Crew
Chet Baker & Crew
Tracks: 23
Year: 2018
Boppin (single)
Boppin (single)
Tracks: 6
Year: 2018
Live In Hamburg 1985
Live In Hamburg 1985
Tracks: 6
Year: 2013
Live In Bologna 1962
Live In Bologna 1962
Tracks: 7
Year: 2013
Live In Bologna 1962
Live In Bologna 1962
Tracks: 7
Year: 2013
Live In Hamburg 1985
Live In Hamburg 1985
Tracks: 6
Year: 2013
Groovy
Groovy
Tracks: 28
Year: 2010
The Complete Chet Baker
The Complete Chet Baker
Tracks: 80
Year: 2010
My Funny Valentine
My Funny Valentine
Tracks: 60
Year: 2008
You don't know what love is
You don't know what love is
Tracks: 16
Year: 2008
Let's Get Lost
Let's Get Lost
Tracks: 22
Year: 2008
Chet (Remastered)
Chet (Remastered)
Tracks: 10
Year: 2007
Chet Baker & Crew
Chet Baker & Crew
Tracks: 14
Year: 2003
Le Poete Du Jazz
Le Poete Du Jazz
Tracks: 20
Year: 2003
Oh You Crazy Moon (single)
Oh You Crazy Moon (single)
Tracks: 6
Year: 2003
Hazy Hugs
Hazy Hugs
Tracks: 10
Year: 1998
Chet Baker Sings
Chet Baker Sings
Tracks: 14
Year: 1998
Chet Baker Sings
Chet Baker Sings
Tracks: 14
Year: 1998
West Coast Live
West Coast Live
Tracks: 20
Year: 1997
Tentet & Quartet
Tentet & Quartet
Tracks: 14
Year: 1996
Les Incontournables
Les Incontournables
Tracks: 14
Year: 1996
Tentet & Quartet
Tentet & Quartet
Tracks: 14
Year: 1996
As Times Goes By
As Times Goes By
Tracks: 10
Year: 1990
Time After Time
Time After Time
Tracks: 6
Year: 1989
The Heart Of The Ballad
The Heart Of The Ballad
Tracks: 10
Year: 1988
Little girl blue
Little girl blue
Tracks: 7
Year: 1988
Silent Nights
Silent Nights
Tracks: 12
Year: 1987
Chet Baker In Tokyo - Four
Chet Baker In Tokyo - Four
Tracks: 6
Year: 1987
Silent Nights
Silent Nights
Tracks: 12
Year: 1987
Welcome Back
Welcome Back
Tracks: 8
Year: 1987
Tropical Storm (single)
Tropical Storm (single)
Tracks: 6
Year: 1987
When Sunny Gets Blue
When Sunny Gets Blue
Tracks: 8
Year: 1986
I Remeber You
I Remeber You
Tracks: 5
Year: 1985
Candy
Candy
Tracks: 9
Year: 1985
Symphonically (single)
Symphonically (single)
Tracks: 5
Year: 1985
I Remeber You
I Remeber You
Tracks: 5
Year: 1985
In Bologna
In Bologna
Tracks: 6
Year: 1985
Blues For A Reason
Blues For A Reason
Tracks: 8
Year: 1984
The Stockholm Concerts (3CD)
The Stockholm Concerts (3CD)
Tracks: 23
Year: 1983
The Stockholm Concerts
The Stockholm Concerts
Tracks: 23
Year: 1983
Mr. B
Mr. B
Tracks: 8
Year: 1983
Live At New Morning
Live At New Morning
Tracks: 4
Year: 1983
Peace
Peace
Tracks: 6
Year: 1982
Out of Nowhere
Out of Nowhere
Tracks: 8
Year: 1982
Live at Fat Tuesday's
Live at Fat Tuesday's
Tracks: 4
Year: 1981
Salsamba
Salsamba
Tracks: 8
Year: 1980
Burnin' At Backstreet
Burnin' At Backstreet
Tracks: 6
Year: 1980
No Problem
No Problem
Tracks: 7
Year: 1979
Someday My Prince Will Come
Someday My Prince Will Come
Tracks: 6
Year: 1979
Ballads for Two (single)
Ballads for Two (single)
Tracks: 7
Year: 1979
Live At Nick's
Live At Nick's
Tracks: 6
Year: 1978
In Concert
In Concert
Tracks: 8
Year: 1974
Together
Together
Tracks: 7
Year: 1970
Blood, Chet, And Tears
Blood, Chet, And Tears
Tracks: 10
Year: 1970
Albert's House
Albert's House
Tracks: 12
Year: 1970
Quietly There
Quietly There
Tracks: 12
Year: 1966
Baby Breeze
Baby Breeze
Tracks: 15
Year: 1964
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Tracks: 6
Year: 1962
Chet Is Back!
Chet Is Back!
Tracks: 12
Year: 1962
Picture Of Heat
Picture Of Heat
Tracks: 7
Year: 1961
Picture of Heath (single)
Picture of Heath (single)
Tracks: 7
Year: 1961
Chet Baker in Milan
Chet Baker in Milan
Tracks: 8
Year: 1959
Chet
Chet
Tracks: 10
Year: 1959
Chet Baker: 100 Masterpieces
Chet Baker: 100 Masterpieces
Tracks: 100
Year: 1958
Stan Meets Chet
Stan Meets Chet
Tracks: 6
Year: 1958
It Could Happen To You
It Could Happen To You
Tracks: 12
Year: 1958
Chet Baker in New York
Chet Baker in New York
Tracks: 7
Year: 1958
50 Masterpieces
50 Masterpieces
Tracks: 49
Year: 1957
Embraceable You
Embraceable You
Tracks: 13
Year: 1957
Chet Baker Cools Out
Chet Baker Cools Out
Tracks: 6
Year: 1956
The Route
The Route
Tracks: 11
Year: 1956
Chet Baker Sings
Chet Baker Sings
Tracks: 14
Year: 1956
At the Forum Theatre
At the Forum Theatre
Tracks: 9
Year: 1956
Big Band (2004 Reissue)
Big Band (2004 Reissue)
Tracks: 10
Year: 1956
Playboys (single)
Playboys (single)
Tracks: 7
Year: 1956
Jazz In Paris [Box Set]
Jazz In Paris [Box Set]
Tracks: 15
Year: 1955
Chet In Paris Vol 3
Chet In Paris Vol 3
Tracks: 12
Year: 1955
Chet Baker & Strings
Chet Baker & Strings
Tracks: 15
Year: 1953
Witch Doctor (single)
Witch Doctor (single)
Tracks: 5
Year: 1953
Grey December
Grey December
Tracks: 17
Year: 1953
Ensemble
Ensemble
Tracks: 13
Year: 1953
Live At Trade Winds
Live At Trade Winds
Tracks: 4
Year: 1952
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